Birdwing Caterpillars Discovered at Nerang National Park

Our teams have recently been working an area of bush adjacent to Nerang National Park where the main weed for removal has been Cats Claw Creeper.

During works the team were also happy to discover some Richmond Birdwing caterpillars onsite.


Because they are attracted to Pararistolochia praevenosa (Birdwing Vine), which is an endangered native plant found in northern NSW and southern QLD.

The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia), is one of the largest and most spectacular butterflies we have in the region, however it is also endangered, much like the the vine which supports it. So to find evidence of the vine growing and supporting the caterpillars was a very positive sign.

Both the Richmond Birdwing caterpillars and butterflies together with the vine (commonly known of the same name) are under threat due to a toxic category 3 climbing weed known as Aristolochia elegans (Dutchman’s Pipe) which the butterflies mistake for Birdwing Vine due to the similar appearance.

Check out the following links for more information on Dutchman’s Pipe and Cats Claw Creeper and the impact they can have on our natural environment via Brooke’s Weeds of the Week articles.

Thank you to our team members for forwarding the photos.

Sourced Photo Credits:

Close up of Pararistolochia Praevenosa Vine: By Poyt448 Peter Woodard – Own work, CC0,

Image of Richmond Birdwing Butterfly: By Lepidlizard – Own work, Public Domain,

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